The SOA Consortium’s EA2010 Working Group – a group of “street-smart” enterprise architecture practitioners – has been actively discussing the domains, services, practices and skills required for a thriving, business relevant enterprise architecture practice in the 2010s.
A critical finding of these discussions is the emphasis of technology concerns at the expense of business understanding, and ultimately, true business enablement, in most enterprise architecture practices today. Successful enterprise architecture practices in the 2010s must give equal emphasis to technology and business concerns. The means for this re-balancing is the elevation, and in some cases initial adoption, of business architecture practices.
Typically, the business architecture practices and artifacts in enterprise architecture frameworks focus on business processes and business uses cases. This is not surprising, since these artifacts and practices are a prerequisite to IT-based business solution delivery. However, this is not sufficient.
To reap the benefits of business architecture – business visibility and agility – the business architecture must reflect the entire business design, from the point of view of business designers and owners, rather than IT solution delivery. This point of view begins with business motivations, includes key business execution elements – such as operating model, capabilities, value chains, processes, and organizational models – and transcends information technology representations, such as business services, rules, events and information models.
While we strongly believe that business architecture is a business domain, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), given his/her unique position to view business plans, business processes, information flows, and technology portfolios across the organization, most often champions business architecture formalization.
In this discussion-oriented paper, the EA2010 group shares their findings on the following questions:
• What comprises business architecture?
• What is the purpose?
• Who participates?
• How do you make business architecture accessible?
• How does business architecture facilitate business decision-making and change?
• How do you keep business architecture current?
• How does business architecture relate to BPM, SOA and IT solution delivery?
To read the paper please go here.
If you have comments on the paper and/or insights on the discussion questions, please leave a comment here or email us.